Another one of my favorite holidays, it’s almost Navratri time. The festival starts October 13th and goes for nine days until October 21st. One of the traditions that I love most is the Southern tradition of collecting and displaying of golu (of kolu) dolls. It’s like a Hindu version of doing a Christmas village, which is such a fun way to dress up your house for the special occasion.
Traditionally what you do is get a series of steps in an odd number (3, 5, 7, 9, or 11) and put your murti and dolls on it in ascending order of consciousness. So you’d have Gods at the top, famous sages next, and animals at the bottom step. It doesn’t have to be exact. Then at the bottom around the steps you can create scenes and tableaux from life. The place of honor usually goes to a very special set of dolls that is passed on through the family called marapachi bommais or raja-rani. I don’t have a set of these yet but it’s in my plans to get some! (looks like they can be purchased here: http://www.thugil.com/marapachi-dolls-india.html)
Here are some ideas for themes for the display: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu/2014/09/navratri-golu-theme-ideas/
Here are some ideas for crafting and creating golu dolls and village display items: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu/2014/09/make-your-own-golu-dolls/
I was thinking perhaps this year Brad could get his class involved in creating some little houses for us to make a village scene! I found some templates for cardboard houses that you can build from cereal boxes or file folders. Here are some of those craft pages:
And here is detailed information on how to celebrate the holiday itself: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/whitehindu/2013/09/welcome-goddesses-happy-navratri/
More Golu information and stories from others…
I have an idea to do a much grander display at our house this year by using some built-in shelves we have. I’ll plan to do a video of me setting up my display and plenty of pictures!